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Project Cost Management

Learning Objectives
Understand the importance of project cost management.
Explain basic project cost management principles,
concepts, and terms.
Discuss different types of cost estimates and methods
for preparing them.

What is Cost and Project Cost

Cost is a resource sacrificed or foregone to achieve a
specific objective, or something given up in exchange.
Costs are usually measured in monetary units, such as
Project cost management includes the processes
required to ensure that the project is completed within
an approved budget.

Project Cost Management Processes

Cost estimating: Developing an approximation or
estimate of the costs of the resources needed to
complete a project.
Cost budgeting: Allocating the overall cost estimate
to individual work items to establish a baseline for
measuring performance.
Cost control: Controlling changes to the project

Basic Principles of Cost Management

Most members of an executive board have a better
understanding and are more interested in financial terms
than IT terms, so IT project managers must speak their
Profits are revenues minus expenses.
Life cycle costing considers the total cost of ownership,
or development plus support costs, for a project.
Cash flow analysis determines the estimated annual
costs and benefits for a project and the resulting annual
cash flow.

Basic Principles of Cost Management

Tangible costs or benefits are those costs or benefits that an
organization can easily measure in dollars.
Intangible costs or benefits are costs or benefits that are
difficult to measure in monetary terms.
Direct costs are costs that can be directly related to producing
the products and services of the project.
Indirect costs are costs that are not directly related to the
products or services of the project, but are indirectly related to
performing the project.
Sunk cost is money that has been spent in the past; when
deciding what projects to invest in or continue, you should not
include sunk costs.

Basic Principles of Cost Management

Learning curve theory states that when many items are
produced repetitively, the unit cost of those items decreases
in a regular pattern as more units are produced.
Reserves are dollars included in a cost estimate to mitigate
cost risk by allowing for future situations that are difficult
to predict.
Contingency reserves allow for future situations that may be
partially planned for (sometimes called known unknowns)
and are included in the project cost baseline.
Management reserves allow for future situations that are
unpredictable (sometimes called unknown unknowns).

Cost Estimating
Project managers must take cost estimates seriously if
they want to complete projects within budget
Its important to know the types of cost estimates, how
to prepare cost estimates.

Cost Management Plan

A cost management plan is a document that describes
how the organization will manage cost variances on the
A large percentage of total project costs are often labor
costs, so project managers must develop and track
estimates for labor.

Cost Estimation Tools and Techniques

Basic tools and techniques for cost estimates:
Analogous or top-down estimates: Use the actual cost of
a previous, similar project as the basis for estimating the
cost of the current project.
Bottom-up estimates: Involve estimating individual work
items or activities and summing them to get a project
Parametric modeling: Uses project characteristics
(parameters) in a mathematical model to estimate project
Computerized tools: Tools, such as spreadsheets and
project management software, that can make working with
different cost estimates and cost estimation tools easier.

Cost Control
Project cost control includes:
Monitoring cost performance.
Ensuring that only appropriate project changes are
included in a revised cost baseline.
Informing project stakeholders of authorized changes to
the project that will affect costs.

Many organizations around the globe have problems with

cost control.

Media Snapshot
Australia: Problems with the installation of an ERP system at Crane
Group Ltd. led to an estimated cost overrun of $11.5 million.*
India: As many as 274 projects currently under implementation in the
Central sector are suffering serious cost and time overruns.**
Pakistan: Pakistan has sustained a cost overrun of Rs 1.798 billion (over
$30 million U.S. dollars) in the execution of the 66.5 megawatt Jagran
Hydropower Project in the Neelum Valley.***
United States: Northern California lawmakers were outraged over
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement that commuters should
have to pay construction costs on Bay Area bridges. Maybe it takes the
Terminator to help control costs!****
*Songini, Marc L., Australian Firm Wrestles With ERP Delays, ComputerWorld (July 12, 2004).
**Srinivasan, G., 274 Central sector projects suffer cost, time overruns, The Hindu Business Line (May 4, 2004).
***Mustafa, Khalid, Rs 1.8 billion cost overrun in Jagran hydropower project, Daily Times (November 19, 2002).
****Gannett Company, Governor Refuses to Pay for Bay Bridge Cost Overruns, News10 (August 17, 2004).

Earned Value Management (EVM)

EVM is a project performance measurement technique
that integrates scope, time, and cost data.
Given a baseline (original plan plus approved
changes), you can determine how well the project is
meeting its goals.
You must enter actual information periodically to use
More and more organizations around the world are
using EVM to help control project costs.

Earned Value Management Terms

The planned value (PV), formerly called the Budgeted Cost of
Work Scheduled (BCWS), also called the budget, is that
portion of the approved total cost estimate planned to be spent
on an activity during a given period.
Actual cost (AC), formerly called Actual Cost of Work
Performed (ACWP), is the total of direct and indirect costs
incurred in accomplishing work on an activity during a given
The earned value (EV), formerly called the Budgeted Cost of
Work Performed (BCWP), is an estimate of the value of the
physical work actually completed.
EV is based on the original planned costs for the project or
activity and the rate at which the team is completing work on
the project or activity to date.